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The Word For Today

Gossip - Don't Indulge in It

'Keep your tongue from evil...' Psalms 34:13 NIV

Did you hear about the three women who decided to confess their weaknesses to each other? The first confessed to drinking too much. The second confessed to being jealous of a friend's good looks. The third said nothing, so the other two pressed her and asked, 'Ok, what's your weakness?' Finally she answered, 'It's gossip, and I can't wait to get out of here and talk about you two!'
Now let's get serious. The Bible has strong words when it comes to the subject of gossip: 'He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin' (Proverbs 13:3 NIV). 'If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless' (James 1:26 NIV). 'Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil' (1 Peter 3:10 NIV). Gossip is like mud thrown against a wall - it may not stick, but it leaves a dirty mark. And that mark can last a lifetime! So before you take aim, check your target. Ask yourself how much damage you'll inflict and how you'll feel about it afterwards. Solomon said, 'The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit' (Proverbs 18:21 NIV). Did you get that? You will 'eat your words'. You'll reap the harvest you sow, good or bad.
Bottom line: if you're looking for faults, look in the mirror. When you work on your own shortcomings, you'll have no time left to gossip about anybody else's.

SoulFood: Deut 18-21, Mark 5:11-20, Ps 37:32-40, Pro 12:4-6

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What Is Your Conscience Telling You?

Fire alarms have an internal switch, triggered by a beam of light. As long as the light is received unbroken by the photosensitive receiver, the detector is quiet. But if smoke, moisture, or an insect obstructs the beam for even a split second, the alarm sounds. Paying attention to that alarm can make the difference between life and death.

And your conscience works on the same principle. When sin obstructs the connection between you and God, your conscience signals that something's wrong. At that moment you should thank God for helping you to feel good about feeling bad. Only a fool would turn off the alarm or develop the ability to sleep through it. While certain things aren't 'wrong' in themselves, they may be wrong for you because of the future God has in mind. That means there are things others can do that you can't. So instead of being stubborn, rejoice in the knowledge that God has great things in store for you. A French proverb says, 'There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.' Listening to your conscience will keep you from going the wrong way. And if you decide to plough on regardless, your conscience will keep you from being at ease with your decision.

Always ask yourself this question and you'll make the right decision: 'How will doing this affect my confidence towards God?' The Bible says, '...If our heart does not condemn us, then we have confidence towards God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we...do those things that are pleasing in His sight' (1 John 3:21-22 NKJV).

 

Soulfood : Deut 14-17, Mk 5:1-10, Ps 37:25-31, Prov 12:1-3

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Don't Embarrass Jesus

'The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.' John 18:19 NKJV

If Jesus 'can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities' (Hebrews 4:15 KJV), can He be embarrassed by our actions and attitudes?
How embarrassing when Mary and Joseph interrupted Him as a twelve-year-old boy, sitting in the temple confounding its best scholars. They took Him away, saying, 'Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you' (Luke 2:48 GNT). How embarrassing to stand up in your home church and announce that you're the Messiah, then have people you grew up with march you out of town and try to throw you off a cliff (Luke 4:29). How embarrassing when He told Jairus that his dead daughter was merely sleeping and those in the house 'laughed him to scorn' (Matthew 9:24 KJV). Now think about this. When the high priest asked Jesus about His doctrine, He replied, 'Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me...' (John 18:21 NKJV). Whereupon one of the officers standing next to Jesus slapped Him in the face. How embarrassing! But the supreme embarrassment in the life of Jesus may well have been when the high priest asked Him not about His doctrine, but about His disciples. Where were they? Judas betrayed Him, Peter denied Him, and the rest ran for cover. What could He say?
So here's the question: Are your character, your conduct and your commitment to Christ a source of joy to Him, or an embarrassment? Gandhi said, 'If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, all of India would be Christian today.' When it comes to doctrine, you may stand tall. But when it comes to discipleship, where do you stand?

SoulFood: Deut 11-13, Mark 4:26-41, Ps 37:16-24, Pro 11:30-31

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